Background Briefing: June 25, 2020


As Trump Does the Opposite of What is Needed, We Could Have 300,000 Covid Deaths by November

We begin with the resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic following the opening up of states such as Texas, Arizona and Florida along with California which has seen a 69% rise in coronavirus cases in just two days with an alarming spike in cases in Los Angeles county which now leads the nation with more than 88,500 cases, promoting Governor Gavin Newsom to mandate the wearing of masks. Andrew Noymer, Professor of Population Health and Disease Prevention at the University of California, Irvine who researches health and mortality, pandemics and epidemiology joins us to discuss how our country’s leadership is taking us in exactly the wrong direction as Trump threatens to cut funds for testing. Andrew warns that unless we revert to wearing masks, social distancing and widespread testing and tracing these spikes in infections will continue to rise throughout the summer and into the fall to the point that by the November election, as many as 300,000 Americans will have died from the disease.


What Happens When Trump Rejects the Election Results?

Then we examine the possibility if not the likelihood that Donald Trump will not leave office after he is defeated in November and speak with Lincoln Mitchell, a Professor of Political Science at Columbia University and an associate scholar in the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. He joins us to discuss his article at CNN “What if Trump rejects the election results?” and since Lincoln has studied the color revolutions in the former Soviet States, he argues that massive people-powered demonstrations are the only way to stop Trump and planning for them has to start now.


With Trump’s Backing, Israel Moves to Annex 30% of the West Bank

Then finally as the U.N. Secretary General warns that Israel’s plan to annex 30% of the West Bank will constitute a “most serious violation of international law”, we speak with Lara Friedman, the President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace who was a U.S. Foreign Service Officer serving in Jerusalem and Washington and is a leading authority on the Israeli-Arab conflict and the settlements. She joins us to discuss how Trump’s ambassador to Israel is a leading proponent of the settlements and has been working with Netanyahu to implement his July 1 plan that could spell the end of a Palestinian state and a renewed flareup of violence.